Stress is an all-too-familiar phenomenon to us as college students. We cram, we stay up too late (or don’t go to bed at all), and wonder how much longer we can keep juggling everything. Work, classes, homework, extracurriculars, double majors, general education classes… all these increase the amount of pressure put on us. When we feel like we can’t meet all these expectations, or even our own for that matter, that’s where stress comes in.
How do we deal with this onslaught of stress when it happens? Sophomore English-writing major Dianne Wade found prioritizing to be helpful. She said, “I’ve learned to break up what I need to do by what is due immediately, what needs to be started and what is still a little ways in the future. That way everything is organized, and I don’t feel overwhelmed with assignments.”
Another tip, obvious but rarely implemented, is don’t procrastinate. I know, the struggle is real, guys, but you can do it. You can get that paper done early so you don’t have to pull an all-nighter.
Learning to say “no” can also go a long way toward managing stress. Know your limits. If you know you were drowning with 17 hours that one semester, maybe it’s time to cut back. If you go to every single event and find yourself running out of time for homework or papers, then limit the number of events you go to (that is, if you want good grades).
One thing I’ve found to be helpful is to use every bit of time that you have. If you’re a little early to class, spend those few minutes catching up on textbook reading or whatnot. If you have long breaks between classes, get a head start on that paper. As a commuter, I’ve learned that I have to put every hour of my day to good use, but this tip works for the rest of us as well.
Another suggestion I would have is to get some sleep. I know that seems near-impossible most of the time, but you’ll actually function better if you’re rested. Just some food for thought.
Finally, do some experimenting and find out when your peak hours are, if you don’t already know, and then do the majority of your coursework then. For me, I don’t identify with night owls or early birds, so I like to do my work in the early afternoon. Circumstances and timing don’t always let you do homework when you want to, but you’re not going to be productive if you’re a morning person and you stay up late. Or maybe you will. To each their own.